Heneage to chair 2015 Costa Book Awards

Heneage to chair 2015 Costa Book Awards

Writer James Heneage, founder of the Ottakar’s chain of bookshops, will chair the final judging panel of the 2015 Costa Book of the Year.

The panel will include comedian and "Peep Show" actress Katy Brand, actress and author, Jane Asher, and writer, broadcaster and former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis.

Heneage founded Ottaker's in 1987, which was sold to the HMV Group in 2006 and subsequently merged with Waterstones.

The nine-member panel (pictured below) will select the overall Costa Book of the Year from the category winners of the Costa Book Awards. The panel includes one judge from each category panel, plus three people from outside publishing.

The five category judging panels are represented by writers Louise Doughty (Novel), Matt Haig (First Novel Award), Penny Junor (Biography), Martyn Bedford (Children’s Book Award) and Julia Copus (Poetry).

The Costa Book Awards is open solely to authors from the UK and Ireland and recognises the "most enjoyable" books across five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book – published in the last year.

Christoper Rogers, managing director at Costa, said: “The Costa Book Awards recognise and celebrate excellent books that can be enjoyed by everyone. We're thrilled to have as our final judging panel nine passionate readers who we know will, between them, do an excellent job of selecting the 2015 Costa Book of the Year.”

Each of the five category award-winning authors receives £5,000 and the author of the overall Costa Book of the Year will be presented with a cheque for £30,000. The winner of the Costa Short Story Award – now in its fourth year and voted for by the general public - will also be announced at the awards ceremony.

The winner will be announced at an award ceremony on Tuesday 26th January 2016 hosted by presenter and broadcaster Penny Smith.

The nominations were revealed in November.